Posted 48 days ago
Russia's re-branded McDonald's sold more than 120,000 burgers on its opening day in Moscow, breaking all previous records from before the US chain left the country over its invasion of Ukraine.
Big Macs and McFlurrys may be off the menu at the successor restaurants, but the new firm has ambitious growth targets after its opening day success, its chief executive said.
McDonald's Corp has fully exited Russia, selling all the restaurants it owned to a local licensee in May. Under new name Vkusno & Tochka, or 'Tasty and that's it,' 50 restaurants in and around Moscow reopened on June 12 and June 13.
Chief Executive Oleg Paroev is keen to add locations, but acknowledged the challenge of replacing some ingredients and suppliers, as well as dealing with other franchisees still using McDonald's branding.
The McDonald's exit saga shows both how difficult it is for Western consumer businesses that decided to leave over Moscow's actions in Ukraine to sever all ties to Russia and for local operators to replace popular brands.
Thousands who came to Vkusno & Tochka's flagship opening in Moscow's Pushkin Square were greeted by a new logo, colour scheme and packaging shorn of all McDonald's branding, as the new company lost the right to the US group's trademarks and intellectual property.
'On the first day we sold almost 120,000 burgers,' Paroev said. 'We have never seen such daily turnover in the whole time McDonald's has worked in Russia.'
While Paroev does not expect such demand to last, he aims to exceed new owner Alexander Govor's growth target and accomplish that ahead of schedule. Govor's goal is to reach 1,000 stores in four to five years, up from around 850 under McDonald's brand.
Hiring is continuing, Paroev said, who also wants to expand cooperation with strategic partner Sberbank, though ruled out a shareholder role for Russia's top lender.
Govor, who previously ran 25 restaurants, said at the launch that he paid a 'symbolic' sum for McDonald's Russia and that the U. S. corporation had made it clear they would not exercise a 15-year buyback option.
Paroev, voicing his personal opinion, said McDonald's could return to Russia if Vkusno & Tochka became a franchisee again... (Read more)